Rodriguez strong, D-backs’ Miller falters in Giants’ 7-0 win
PHOENIX (AP) — For the second night in a row, a young San Francisco pitcher shut down the Arizona Diamondbacks.
This time, Dereck Rodriguez blanked them into the seventh inning and the Giants made it two straight wins in Arizona with a 7-0 victory Saturday.
Rodriguez’s performance came a night after Andrew Suarez allowed one run in six innings during San Francisco’s 2-1 series-opening victory. The NL West-leading Diamondbacks have managed just one run in the last 18 innings.
“It’s big,” Rodriguez said. “They’re leading our division and we come in and shut them down. That’s big for our team and our pitching staff, gives us some momentum.”
Brandon Crawford, Andrew McCutchen and Joe Panik homered on another rough night for Shelby Miller, who struggled in his second start since returning from Tommy John surgery.
Panik’s homer, off reliever Jimmie Sherfy in the eighth, was his first since April 3, a span of 162 at-bats.
Ty Blach and Cory Gearrin completed San Francisco’s 10th shutout of the season.
“Overall just a well-played game,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “We got the hits, the runs to give us a cushion there and what a job Rodriguez did. He followed up a great start. He’s been throwing the ball terrific.”
The Giants have won nine of 11 to pull into a tie with the Los Angeles Dodgers for second in the NL West, 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Diamondbacks. San Francisco can complete a three-game road sweep on Sunday.
Since returning from an 8-2 trip, the Diamondbacks have dropped two to the Giants by a combined score of 9-1.
“An unfortunate offensive night for us once again,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “We didn’t build as big of innings as last night but we had a couple opportunities and we really couldn’t cash in.”
Rodriguez (3-1), the son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, dominated in his sixth major league start. He allowed six hits in 6 1/3 innings, struck out five and walked two. In his last two starts, the 26-year-old right-hander has given up one run in 13 1/3 innings.
Miller (0-2) was tagged for six runs and seven hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked one, throwing 96 pitches. In his debut Monday night at Miami, Miller gave up five runs and six hits in 3 2/3 innings of a 9-5 loss to the Marlins.
Miller said he is past being satisfied with getting through an outing healthy.
“We are getting close to the All-Star break and we are playing division teams that are right behind us trying to get first place away from us and I am going out there and not pitching well,” he said. “That is more what I am upset about. I am not really focused on the little positives that I can take from coming back from a major surgery, which is a pretty big deal, but it is getting at that point in the season where we have to win ballgames, and every single one that we can.”
Crawford and McCutchen each had a solo home run off Miller — Crawford in the second and McCutchen in the fourth.
Arizona’s real trouble came in San Francisco’s four-run third, which included five singles. One of them, a dribbler up the middle by Pablo Sandoval, drove in two runs. Crawford walked with the bases loaded to bring in another run.
With right-handers Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija due back from the disabled list soon, there might not be room for Rodriguez and/or Suarez in the rotation.
“We want our guys back but at the same time when they’re throwing like this it does give you the luxury of making sure your guys are ready,” Bochy said. “Depth is going to be so important. We’re at the halfway point. You never know what can happen and it’s been great the way Suarez and Rodriguez have come up here and handled themselves.”
Giants: Cueto (right elbow sprain) threw four scoreless innings Friday night in his second rehab appearance for Triple-A Sacramento. He allowed four hits, struck out six and walked one.
Diamondbacks: INF Ketel Marte left with a right leg injury after beating out an infield single leading off the seventh. He was able to walk off under his own power. Lovullo said afterward it was a cramp and Marte is day to day. ... CF A.J. Pollock (broken left thumb) went 0 for 4 with Triple-A Reno in his first rehab game Friday night.
Left-hander Derek Holland (5-7, 4.24 ERA) starts for the Giants in their bid for a three-game sweep. RHP Zack Godley (9-5, 4.58) goes for Arizona.
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